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Month: April 2010

Why RDA is doomed to failure

[Note: edited for clarity thanks to rsinger’s comment, below] Doomed, I say! DOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMED! My reasoning is simple: RDA will fail because it’s not “better enough.” Now, those of you who know me might be saying to yourselves, “Waitjustaminute. Bill doesn’t know anything at all about cataloging, or semantic representations, or the relative merits of various encapsulations of bibliographic metadata. I mean, sure, he knows a lot about…err….hmmm…well, in any case, he’s definitely talking out of his ass on this one.” First off, thanks for having such a long-winded internal monologue about me; it’s good to be thought of. And, of…

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Data structures and Serializations

Jonathan Rochkind, in response to a long (and, IMHO, mostly ridiculous) thread on NGC4Lib, has been exploring the boundaries between a data model and its expression/serialization ( see here, here, and here ) and I thought I’d jump in. What this post is not There’s a lot to be said about a good domain model for bibliographic data. I’m so not the guy to say it. I know there are arguments for and against various aspects of the AACR2 and RDA and FRBR, and I’m unable to go into them. What I am comfortable saying is this: Anyone advocating or…

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Stupid catalog tricks: Subject Headings and the Long Tail

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in particular. I’ve always been down on LCSH because I don’t understand them. They kinda look like a hierarchy, but they’re not really. Things get modifiers. Geography is inline and …weird. And, of course, in our faceting catalog when you click on a linked LCSH to do an automatic search, you often get nothing but the record you started from. Which is super-annoying. So, just for kicks, I ran some numbers. The process I extracted all the field 650, indicator2=”0″ from our catalog, threw away the subfield 6’s, and threw away any trailing punctuation…

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